Regular Cycling Guests

February 25, 2015 by · Comments Off on Regular Cycling Guests
Filed under: France 

Why do we get so many returning cycling guests?

OK so we are not a big multi-national holiday company with thousands of places for holidays.

We run only six tours per year now each with a maximum of eight guests per tour (although more could be accommodated if persuaded) so it’s not hard to get to know our guests pretty well and in fact we’d probably count most of them as friends when they leave our cycling base for their journey home.

Roses at Mas de flory

Roses at Mas de flory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each year about a quarter of our biking guests are returning for their second cycling tour with us normally from the previous year, but some come and stay with us every year. Our record is three times in one year, we must be doing something right! We always thought nobody would want to come back again, how wrong we were.
We do vary the routes for some returning guests but most want to repeat their previous routes with us as they say they can take in more of the sites for the second time and enjoy the rides. Sometimes they bring their friends with them to share their experiences and their favourite routes.

Of course it maybe that biking has absolutely nothing to do with it and it’s just our sparkling wit and repartee or perhaps its Aileen’s food?
Some of our guests have booked a holiday with us just because they like the reviews about our food, and are not really cyclists – who can blame them as all our guests are extremely complimentary and forever want to award Aileen a Michelin star and buy her non-existent cook book!

Cheescake for dessert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few extracts about our food:

“The four course five star dinners prepared by “Chef” Aileen were outstanding in quality and variety.”

“Saying we had great food and lots of fun would be an understatement–it was simply fantastic and outstanding.”

“sipping a chilled glass of rose prior to sitting down to a sumptuous feast prepared by Aileen and skilfully served by John.”

“Aileen was a most accomplished chef, and prepared phenomenal 4-course meals every night!”

Click on the link “Guest Reviews” above to see more about Aileen’s food and our cycling holiday base.

Well I hope you understand why so many travellers return to us, see this year?

Frequent Cycling Guests

Plan d’eau, Degagnac

February 17, 2015 by · Comments Off on Plan d’eau, Degagnac
Filed under: France 

Le Plan d’eau (lake) at Degagnac

A ‘Plan d’eau’ in France refers mainly to a local lake. They are most often formed by damming a stream until the lake is the required size and then regulating the flow out of the lake at the downstream end. This means that there is a constant flow of fresh water into the lake, making it suitable for all sorts of leisure activities that can be enjoyed by the local community.

Degagnac Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each village/town plan d’eau varies in size. Generally, the larger the population served, the larger the lake. Our local commune, Degagnac, has a population about six hundred, so the lake here is quite small, being roughly shaped as a rectangle 250m by 120m and has been formed by damming the “ruisseau de Palaz”, which translated simply means “the Palaz stream”.

Degagnac Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Degagnac lake has a footpath that goes all the way around the outside, and it’s a pleasant walk of just less than a kilometre. There is a parking area adjacent to a picnic spot with a few well-maintained benches. Local people tell us that the lake was once popular for swimming in.

Degagnac Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing is possible at the Degagnac Lake between 14 March and 20 September. Trout is the major catch and a license, which in 2015 costs 73 euros permits you to catch 10 trout per day with 2 rods. lake is stocked with 3 types of trout – the ‘truite arc en ciel’ which is rainbow trout, the truite fario, or brown trout and the ‘omble de fontaine’, which translates as brook trout. There is a length limit of 20cm on the first and 23cm on the other two so I would assume this means that you can take your catch home with you to eat.

Degagnac Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I visited the lake on a lovely sunny afternoon in January, and I was the only visitor – well, apart from the robin I photographed and all the other wildlife!

Robin at Degagnac Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more details about Degagnac visit this website (in French)

 

Plan d’eau, Degagnac

L’Abbaye Nouvelle (New Abbey)

February 12, 2015 by · Comments Off on L’Abbaye Nouvelle (New Abbey)
Filed under: Living in Rural France 

L’Abbaye Nouvelle near Mas de Flory

It was such a beautiful sunny afternoon on Tuesday that I decided to get on my bike and visit a local historic monument, the 13th Century L’Abbaye Nouvelle. It’s about 5km from Mas de Flory to the Abbey and most of the trip is made on wooded back roads, with just a short stretch of main road at Pont Carral. There is a footpath to the Abbey, but it’s a bit bumpy for my hybrid!

L'Abbee NouvelleL’Abbaye Nouvelle

The official name of the Abbey is St Mary of Gourdon, but it’s always been known as the New Abbey, because the Cistercian monks who built the Abbey between 1242 and 1272 had already had a failed attempt at building an abbey a few miles away back in 1150!

L’Abbaye Nouvelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The abbey was abandoned during the Hundred Years War (1337 to 1453). It was used again from the late 15th century up to 1650, when it was secularised after the last monks left. The monastery on the site is in ruins, mostly down to the fact that much of the stonework has been removed (stolen?) for use in other local buildings. The church, though, is still (partially) intact and is used regularly for local parish services held in the 2 bays left out of the original 3.

L’Abbaye Nouvelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An association to protect and restore the site was formed in 1978 and the site was classified as an ‘historical monument’ in 1991. Since then a lot of work has been carried out to make safe the structure and restore parts of the walls. There is also a ‘lower room’ which is a vault that extends under the length of the church building. The ‘lower room’ is now fully functional and has been used as a theatre, for musical events and even for marriage ceremonies. Gary Brooker, of Procol Harum fame, performed there in 2010.

 

L’Abbaye Nouvelle near Mas de Flory

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